Your stool smelling like burnt rubber may be an indication of an infection, disease, or malabsorption. Diet and intolerance can also make your poop smell burnt.
Let’s find out what may be responsible for this smell, the symptoms to note, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Why Your Poop Smells Like Burnt Rubber
1. Choice of Food
Foods with high sulfur content like garlic, onion, broccoli, and cabbage are not easily digestible. This is why sometimes, leafy substances may appear in your poop. The more time it takes to digest these foods, the higher the amount of gas produced in the digestive system.
This eventually influences your poop and gives it a pungent smell. To correct this, you have to reduce the quantity of sulfate-rich food you eat drastically.
2. You Have an Intolerance
If your body gets triggered or reacts negatively to carbohydrates such as lactose or fructose, you may have developed an intolerance. This is because the enzymes required to break down these sugars are absent or not enough in the body.
The undigested lactose or fructose becomes fermented, resulting in foul-smelling poop. Individuals with lactose or fructose intolerance should avoid dairy products like ice cream, butter, and yogurt or boost their insufficiency with supplements.
3. Junk Food Addiction
Processed foods such as cookies, pies, pizza, pastries, and canned meat usually contain synthetic ingredients that can stress your gut when it comes to digestion.
Some people also lack the needed enzymes to completely metabolize these fatty foods, which often result in the production of smelly gasses within the digestive tract. When these gasses accompany your stool, it may give it a burnt rubber smell.
4. You Are on Medications
Medications, especially antibiotics, can make your poop smell weird. Coating materials like sorbitol (an indigestible sugar) can ferment and make your poop smell terrible. Ibuprofen, ZzzQuil, and prenatal vitamins are also great influencers.
The smell usually subsides after completing or changing your medication. However, if the symptom persists, consult your doctor to identify the possible cause.
Malabsorption is a common factor responsible for foul-smelling poop or pee. This is when the body is unable to absorb the needed amount of nutrients from the ingested food. These remnants rot and smell foul on their way out.
Malabsorption can be treated with medications or dietary changes. However, some underlying conditions may require lifetime medication to manage pain and bowel movements.
6. Intestinal Infections
Intestinal infections such as gastroenteritis may result in your poop smelling like burnt rubber. This inflammatory disease ensues after eating contaminated food. The contamination may be a result of:
- Bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella
- Viruses such as rotavirus and norovirus
- Parasites such as cryptosporidium
Symptoms usually revolve around abdominal cramps, foul-smelling and runny stools.
7. Short Bowel Syndrome
Short bowel syndrome occurs when a portion of the small intestine appears missing or removed during surgery. This majorly results in malabsorption.
Symptoms may include fatigue, dehydration, pale or greasy stool, diarrhea and foul-smelling poop. High-calorie diets, especially those rich in minerals and vitamins and other medications may be recommended to manage the condition.
Tips for Preventing Or Managing This Smell
1. Practice Proper Hygiene
What you eat is directly linked to how your poop smells. To prevent diseases and infections, the following hygienic practices can go a long way in keeping your gut healthy:
- Washing your hands before and after preparing a meal
- Washing your hands before and after eating
- Storing food and cooking utensils in a clean space
2. Work on Your Eating Habits
When you eat hurriedly or swallow very fast, air goes into your body at a fast pace. This leads to the accumulation of gasses in the gut which we already know results in smelly poop.
It is best to eat slowly and conveniently. This gives room for less gas in the digestive system. Besides, it makes you conscious of what you are eating and how it makes you feel. Ensure you drink water regularly too.
3. Steer Clear of Foods That Trigger You
Steering clear of certain foods, especially for people with possible intolerance might be a safe way to determine if they have truly developed an intolerance or not.
You can start a food journal to determine how certain foods make you feel. This is because not every food that disagrees with your body is an intolerance situation.
4. Avoid Coffee & Some Veggies
Carbonated drinks like soda and beer contain metabolites that can make your pee or poop smell weird. The number of cruciferous vegetables and products rich in sulfur like egg, meat, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus should be reduced in your diet.
Medications with galactosidase (lactase) and alpha-galactosidase (Beano) constituents usually help reduce gas and bloating. For individuals with inflammatory bowel syndrome, tegaserod maleate (Zelnorm of Novartis) also helps with diluting funky smell.
Poop Smells like Burnt Rubber: When to See a Doctor
Consult your doctor if you have any of the following.
- Bloody stool
- Pale stool
- Abnormal bowel movements
- Drastic weight loss
- Recurrent nausea or vomiting
Your doctor can help in identifying the cause of the smell and the best treatment or management options.